Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been fielding questions about his whereabouts during the immediate aftermath of the Metro-North derailment that killed four and injured 63.
The mayor wasn't seen publicly Sunday until he visited victims at St. Barnabas Hospital at night. The Wall Street Journal has reported he was at his Bermuda home golfing during the rescue effort.
Asked why he wasn't at the scene, Bloomberg said at the hospital: "What can I do? I'm not a professional firefighter or a police officer. There's nothing I can do."
And then Monday, at a City Hall event, he said: "I was in constant communications with my commissioners, who were there to do the job. They're supposed to show up and they're supposed to do it, and that's exactly what they did."
Media reports say he also declined to specify where he was early Sunday, saying only: "You just have to check the public schedule for where I am at any point in time, and it will certainly tell you anything that's germane to the job."
The mayor came under fire during the 2010 Christmas blizzard for failing to appear during the first 24 hours of the storm.
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio wasn't on the scene but said he was in contact with NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. Without criticizing Bloomberg, he told reporters: "My instinct on these things is to be present even if the city is not the lead."